Elbit Systems' new chief executive, Bezhalel Machlis, has disclosed the first details of an innovative surveillance payload that will allow unmanned air system operators to maintain 360˚ video coverage over an area of interest using a single aircraft.

Referred to as "Skeye" during a briefing at the Paris air show, the system is described as being capable of monitoring an area of up to 100km² (39 square miles), providing real-time footage to operators in a ground control station. It will also have a playback capability, allowing previous activity around a point of interest to be assessed.

Using the example of an Elbit Hermes 900 tactical unmanned air vehicle detecting a missile or rocket launch, Machlis says the Skeye's playback capability will provide a valuable operational capability. "You can understand where did the bad guys come from, where is the headquarters, where are the weapons storage sites," he says.

Machlis declined to provide additional information about the design, or to detail its development status. However, an image shown during his presentation depicted a pod-housed system featuring multiple camera apertures, which would be used to provide its spherical coverage.

A Hermes 900 is on show at Elbit's exhibit, with this featuring a range of possible payload options, and also including the company's new SPS-65V5 self-protection system.

Check out the latest news and views from this year's Paris air show, including:

Finally, our new-look iFDN editions will contain exclusive footage from Paris 2013. Find out more

Source: Flight Daily News